April 2018 Highlights: Major Developments in India’s Renewable and Solar Sectors

Trading of both solar and non-solar RECs began in the new trading session of April 2018


As the country entered its new financial year, there was a flurry of developments in the domestic renewable energy sector, especially solar. There were numerous significant announcements made in the month by stakeholders as well as governmental agencies for the furtherance of the domestic solar sector.

Here is a quick recap of all the major developments that took place in the month:

Gujarat will soon have the largest solar park at a single location in India as the state government has approved the establishment of a 5,000 MW in Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) in the state.

The office of Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) initiated an investigation on import of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) sheets for solar modules imported from China PR, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Thailand.

Karnataka’s solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity crossed the 5 GW mark in the first quarter of 2018 to transform it into India’s top solar PV state.

In the March 2018, REC trading session 2,999,978 buy bids and 2,785,204 sale bids were registered.

India’s power supply deficit held steady at 0.7 percent during financial year (FY) 2017-18, coming in roughly unchanged from the figures reported during financial year FY 2016-17.

India’s banking sector is staring at potential dud assets worth $38 billion (~₹2,470 billion) from the power sector, according to a latest report released by the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment Report 2018 ranked India as fourth in terms of new investments in renewable energy.

In March 2018, more than 3 GW of solar projects were tendered but merely 1 GW of solar projects were auctioned across India.

As of March 2018, MNRE had spent just ₹36.13 billion (~$555.9 million) of the ₹39.93 billion (~$614.3 million) allocated to it.

The Supreme Court of India asked renewable energy project developer ReNew Power to pay a penalty of ₹119 million (~$1,827,700) to the Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Limited (MPPMCL) for delaying the commissioning of a solar project in the state by more than 210 days.

Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) India might have to bear a loss of ₹1.36 (~$0.020)/kWh for the 500 MW of grid-connected solar projects, which are being developed in the state of Tamil Nadu due to delays in commissioning.

Lack of clarity on safeguard duty pass-through option is stifling solar project development, Mercom reported.

The Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) scrapped the recently conducted auction for the development of 500 MW of grid-connected solar projects in the state.

The Appellate Tribunal of Electricity (APTEL) dismissed petitions filed by stakeholders against the issue of new forbearance and floor prices for solar and non-solar renewable energy certificates (RECs) by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC).

The Green Energy Association has decided to appeal the recent order passed by the Appellate Tribunal of Electricity (APTEL) regarding floor and forbearance prices of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

Trading of both solar and non-solar renewable energy certificates (RECs) started in the new trading session of April 2018.

The Madras High Court dismissed the writ petition filed by domestic project developer Shapoorji & Pallonji against the levy of 70 percent safeguard duty for 200 days as prescribed by the office of Directorate General (DG) Safeguards.

MNRE’s quality control order will encourage better quality products by ensuring that only the manufacturers who comply with local laws and regulations will be able to sell in the country.

The inter-regional transmission links being developed under India’s Green Energy Corridor program are ready to begin evacuating an aggregate capacity of 19.95 GW.

Off-grid solar products sales in India totaled $36 million in the second half of 2017.

The Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) approved two petitions filed by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) seeking permission to go ahead with tenders of 1,500 MW of grid-connected solar and wind projects each.

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) rejected a petition filed by Noida Power Company Limited (NPCL) seeking to select an Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contractor to develop an 8 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project in the Jaun Samana village in Greater Noida.

Mercom’s detailed analysis of the winners of major solar auctions held across the country over the past 12 months indicated that bidding has been dominated by larger, more-established companies.

Solar accounted for over 22 GW of the total installed capacity, representing 6.59 percent of overall capacity addition in FY 2017-18.

The recommendation to impose safeguard duty on solar imports to India and the ongoing investigation faced criticism at the recently-held meeting of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) safeguard committee.

Sungrow, a global inverter manufacturer and supplier, is set to strengthen its global delivery capability by establishing a new factory in Karnataka’s capital city of Bengaluru.

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) adjourned the case relating to the petition filed by Azure Power for the extension of commissioning date and construction of evacuation system for 40 MW solar power project in the state’s Jalaun district.

The Diu Smart City became the first in the country to run on 100 percent renewable energy during daytime hours.

Energy storage provider Exicom won the tender to deploy 2,000 Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers under the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) procurement program.

MNRE is soon going to announce the new benchmark cost for off-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and rooftop solar projects for the financial year (FY) 2018-19.

MNRE has asked all the implementing agencies in the country to adhere to the grid-connected rooftop (GCRT) solar guidelines issued in 2016 to award rooftop solar projects.

The Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects totaling 640 MW to be developed in various taluks of Karnataka have been signed.

The Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) approved a request for procurement (RfP) and a power purchase agreement (PPA) for 1 GW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects.

GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited and SoftBank entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint venture company (JVC) for setting up an integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh.

ReNew Power acquired Ostro Energy in a deal valued at ₹10,600 crores (~$1.63 billion).